Turkish PM says jailed PKK leader not sole addressee in Kurdish bid
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. AA photoTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Oct. 17 that Turkey's Kurdish peace process is not "unidirectional" and that negotiations are being conducted with "all relevant parties."
"We will continue our efforts both by coordinating with all sides and by making reforms at a social level," Davutoğlu told the media during a press conference at the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet).
Turkey's peace process is an effort launched early last year by the Turkish government to secure an end to the decades-long conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as by the U.S. and the European Union.
Davutoğlu reiterated the position of his Cabinet to settle the issue as soon as possible. "It is a process that we launched by our own will and one that we will pursue likewise. We won't abide by anyone else's position on whether to pause or continue the process," he added.
When asked about reports over the alleged granting of "official negotiator" status to the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan, the prime minister stressed that the talks do not have only one addressee or one direction and "all related parties" are involved.
He recalled that the government had started to hold regular talks every two weeks with the newly-established "solution process council" - a new step initiated by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government - to guide efforts toward a solution.
Davutoğlu also suggested that last week's violent protests across the country aimed at undermining and shattering the positive mentality in the southeast of the country fostered by the process.
"We need wise people to raise and further strengthen social awareness," he said, in reference to the "Board of Wise People," a consultative body overseeing the peace process.
On Oct. 19, Davutoğlu is scheduled to host the "Wise People" in Istanbul to discuss problems related to the Kurdish issue.
The 63-member committee includes writers, columnists and academics, in addition to many other figures with differing political views as well as different religions and ethnic backgrounds.
During the meeting, the board is expected to present a report to the prime minister about recent developments as well as an evaluation of the overall solution process and the steps that should be taken next.